In case you missed it, the US FDA released official reports the last week of December approving AquaAdvantage Salmon for both breeding and consumption. A suspiciously advantageous time to release the documents, Anthony Gucciardi says, due to the inattentiveness of the general public because of the Christmas holiday. If you missed this news as many others did, consider reading his article.
According to Gucciardi, there are a number of issues to consider with any genetically modified (GM) foods and with the AquaAdvantage Salmon in particular. The first being that these “frankenfish”, as he calls them, are a hybrid species containing a gene from the Pacific Chinook in addition to a gene from the ocean pout. The result being that GM salmon are perpetually able to generate a particular growth hormone that allows them to grow approximately twice as large and twice as fast as normal salmon.
In light of these reports Gucciardi considers (1) the environmental effects this could have should these GM salmon ever be inadvertently released into the natural salmon population and/or the open ocean, (2) the lack of research in genetically modified food consumption and the potential health risks this could pose to the general public, and (3) the fact that these fish will not be required to be advertised as “genetically modified.” Gucciardi also suggests ways to halt this process for anyone opposed to the FDA approval. Overall his argument, while at times overly emotionally charged, highlights the perilous effects that the commodification of living creatures for commercial gain can have on the health of our community, our nation, and especially our natural ecologies.